Have you ever wanted SO badly to reach a goal, a number, a figure, an amount of money..that you just become fixated and stressed beyond recognition? You project this anxiousness by yelling at someone you love, being impatient, acting panicky. Everything is a big deal all of sudden, even if it’s really not. It’s not some crazy foreign concept I’m talking about here today, this is something VERY real to small business owners in particular and when I sat down at my 17Hats software to work last night, I realized that I had officially experienced something I needed to share today with you.
Bottom line, I need to bring a certain amount of money to have our family live. Mike has his job, also covers insurance, but without getting into actual specifics let’s just say I need to match or make more than he does occasionally to be able to pay bills, live and eat. As a small business owner, we know that I never have a guaranteed amount and in fact, we know that because my work is very seasonal, I may not be a contributor for up to three months during the winter unless we are taking retainer fees for future weddings and sessions. Being a business owning and having that lack of certainty makes me panic sometimes and it’s not because my business isn’t stable, it’s because it’s just always up in the air WHEN the bookings all take place.
This year, we set a goal. I wanted to shoot X amount of weddings this year. Over the past couple of years we have booked more weddings the year OF than ever before! That means we don’t book super far in advance like we used to. We just are getting more laid back brides that are efficient planners and can do all of this wedding business in a year! But it also leaves room in my little Type A business owning heart for doubt and fear. Where are the weddings?! Are they coming in?
YES…they are! And even better, year after year they become top notch perfect fits for us and that is the real GOAL people! Is the goal so much a number as it is quality? Is it both? For us, it’s definitely a lot of needing the best kind of bride with a cheerful heart and then yes, meeting that general number…but the real win is the good client who loves you and you love back. I want to never have goal amnesia and forget about the REAL win. It’s changing people’s lives and working with YOUR people.
The reason I can stand by and say the real win is the good client and not how many is because at least for me, I can take not booking a certain kind of event or session as a sign of two different possibilities. Either…I need to work harder to shoot for and market for that specific kind of session, event, wedding, etc..and work REALLY hard to make it known I want that, or, maybe after all of that super hard work, it’s God’s way of saying Amanda, enough with shooting so many weddings a year. Enough with so many of this or that kind of session, I’m trying to show you a different path and I want you to slow down and listen. I DO take things as signs. I really do, and when our wedding number slowed down this year after suffering with a terrible pregnancy experience while shooting last year, I took it as a sign that I wanted to shoot an exclusive amount of cheerful and inspiring couples a year while focusing on this brand new component we are in the works of launching soon! I wish I could say more, but let’s just say I’m quite literally in the works of it putting this together over the next month or so!
Maybe your goals slowing down or changing aren’t bad things, maybe you ARE meant to explore another direction. It’s hard to accept when we get into one way of doing things or one way of supporting our family and making money, but if you slow down to listen, you may just hear what it is and it could very well change your entire life.
* If you are having trouble reaching these “goals” — think about what they really are, dissect them. For example, I need to book more weddings. Why? Because I need more money. Do you LOVE shooting weddings or would you be willing to take more sessions/only sessions? There are so many different questions to ask when you’re frustrated with a current booking/goal situation that could surprisingly lead you to brainstorming other creative ways to book or build your business!
*Ask yourself if it’s what you REALLY want to be doing.
*Ask yourself if it has purpose, heart and meaning.
*Ask yourself if just maybe you are being pointed in another direction and what the possibilities may be if you chose to be bravely follow that through!